Presentation on theme: "South Carolina Standard USHC-7.3 Mr. Hoover Abbeville High School."— Presentation transcript:
South Carolina Standard USHC-7.3 Mr. Hoover Abbeville High School
Explain how controversies among the Big Three Allied leaders over war strategies led to post-war conflict between the United States and the USSR. Did this mistrust lead to delays in the opening of the second front in Europe? How was the Soviet Union to participate in the war in the Pacific? What was the effect of dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Japan and Soviet Union?
Circumstances and decisions made during World War II laid the foundation for the postwar tension between the Soviet Union and United States known as the Cold War. During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies only because both were enemies of Germany.
Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union were based on the fundamental differences in their economic and political systems. At the end of World War I, the United States landed troops in Russia in support of the forces that opposed the Russian Revolution which increased the Soviet distrust of AmericansRussian Revolution
American fear of communism was reflected in the Red Scare of the 1920s. American distrust of the Soviet Union grew when Stalin signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler. However, when Hitler violated that pact and invaded the Soviet Union, the Soviets became recipients of Lend Lease and an American ally in the war against Germany.
An understanding of the timeline of major events during World War II is vital to comprehending the war itself and the tension that continued to grow between the wartime allies. The Big Three allied leaders, Winston Churchill of Great Britain, Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States, and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, met throughout the war to plan strategy and later to make post-war plans.
The Soviet Union, taking the brunt of German aggression in 1941-1944 on the eastern front, desperately wanted the other Allies to open a second ground front that would directly attack Germany and provide the Soviet Union with some relief.
The British were more anxious for United States bombers to help the Royal Air Force (RAF) take out the German Air Force that was devastating Britain [Battle of Britain]. The delay in opening a second front that would take pressure off the ground forces in the Soviet Union was partly based on the decision to produce bombers rather than the landing craft needed to launch a full scale invasion of Europe.
The invasion of North Africa [Operation Torch] was launched to free the Mediterranean Sea from German control and protect the oil fields of the Middle East. This military operation took some pressure off the Soviet Union but it was their fierce resistance to the Germans at Stalingrad that turned the tide on the eastern front.
American and British landings in Italy opened another front in Europe but again delayed a direct attack on Germany. Italy surrendered but German forces continued the bitter fight on the Italian peninsula and tied down Allied forces there.
The invasion of Normandy on D-Day finally provided the long-awaited western front. Germany was now engaged on three fronts in Europe [Italy, France, and the Soviet Union] and had to divert military resources to the western front.
The Battle of the Bulge was the last German offensive and the beginning of the end for the Nazis.Battle of the Bulge
American, British, and French forces marched towards Berlin from the west as the Soviets moved towards Berlin from the east, laying the foundation for the post-war division of Berlin and Germany and Cold War tensions over the Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe.
In the Pacific theater, the United States pursued a strategy of island-hopping. The goal was to get close enough to the Japanese home islands to launch air attacks in preparation for an invasion of the Japanese home islands.
The unexpected naval victory at Midway stopped the Japanese advance and put Japan on the defensive.
Battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa demonstrated the tenacity of Japanese soldiers and the cost in American lives that any invasion of the Japanese home islands would entail.
Consequently, the United States was determined to have the participation of the Soviet Union in any invasion of Japan and gained that agreement at a Big Three conference [Yalta]. As promised, soon after the war in Europe ended, the Soviet Union marched into Korea.
President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was designed to prevent the necessity for landing and fighting on the Japanese home islands and consequently prevent large numbers of American casualties.
As a result, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally before any Allied troops landed on their home islands and the end of the war found the United States in Japan providing economic aid and military supervision to rebuild and democratize Japan.
Consequently, with the advent of the Cold War, post-war U.S. occupation and assistance also created a strong new ally in modern Japan. The end of the war left the Soviets occupying northern Korea, laying the foundation for the Korean War in the 1950s.
The use of the atomic bomb also had the effect of increasing the distrust between the United States and the Soviet Union since the technology was not shared either before the bombs were dropped or after the end of the war. Instead, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki started an arms race with the Soviet Union.